Coaching your athletes
Coaching the Athlete
Our goal in coaching an athlete is to give an athlete individual attention, but be as efficient as possible. The more people you coach, the more you will find that you answer a lot of the same things over and over. Something I have learned is that the person is unique, but their situation is not. Let’s be efficient with similar tasks to allow more time for interaction.
Writing training plans: I personally write training every three weeks. This allows me to have two weeks to work on other areas of coaching and just be observing logs. The third week is primarily dedicated to writing the next three weeks of training. I strongly encourage you to write training in blocks of 2-4 weeks. It makes it easier than having a whole plan in place, then having to change 8 weeks in.
Note: You may apply a whole training plan from the LHR library. I would just recommend hiding future weeks from an athlete. This can be done within Final Surge.
- Encourage athletes to fill out complete logs. While I personally don’t need a diary entry on every single run, there are key items that need to be filled out regularly:
- How they felt
- Aches/Pains/Injury chart when something flares up, and track it!
- GPS data
- Post SOS workout comments
- I try to turn off any notifications I don’t need in order streamline. So, GPS notifications I turn off for athletes. This just tells me that they synched their watch. I want to know if they made comments or completed a workout. So I leave those two on.
- I try to look at athlete logs in whole at least once every two weeks and respond to any comments as they come in. If they don’t value your time by taking a few minutes to complete their log, I don’t go out of my way to make sure I am looking at what they do every week.
- Phone calls are up to you and the athlete. I am trying to get in a habit of doing a bi-weekly group zoom call, but my hope is that the group feature in the site will help that community aspect without hosting big group meetings all the time. But, whatever you like and keeps your particular group of athletes happy.
- Overall, be present with your athletes, but don’t feel like you need to hunt them down time after time to get them to provide basic information. They have to bear some responsibility, as well.
- Encourage the use of the Pain And Injury Reporting System (PAIRS) in Final Surge. This can be found in the click-out window of a day and will be listed in Pain and Injury
Coach’s Tips for Communication
Getting an athlete to fill out their training log is the hardest part of coaching! At first, I try to bug athletes after every workout- “How was this?” Sometimes they get tired of it and remark about workouts. Personally, I don’t need something every day but should at least get notes after workouts.
I have created a weekly feedback form- https://lukehumphreyrunning.com/weekly-check-in/
This can be a template to create your own form using something like Google Forms.
Every 1-2 weeks, in-depth log check. This should be beyond responding to comments. An in-depth check in how the runner is feeling, recovering, looking at overall paces, and any other reporting you do.
Every 3-4 weeks, write next 3-4 weeks out
Every 4-6 weeks, assess paces/zones, etc., and update if necessary. Make sure the athlete is adapting.
Last 6-8 weeks of the training segment, make sure the race plan is finalized. Make sure the athlete is on point with fueling and hydration.
Last 3 weeks, dial in the taper strategy.
Post Race- Do an evaluation. This can be done with a follow-up, a form, or both. Decide with the athlete what is next. Make sure they recover!